Exclusive: New Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro models sneak preview
The new vans, the result of the on-going collaboration between Renault and Opel (the owners of Vauxhall) will go on sale from early September and will be built at Luton.
While there will be some specification and, no doubt, pricing variations between the new Vauxhall and Renault light commercial vehicles, both the Vivaro and Trafic are the same vehicle, apart from the front grille and badging.
The major new innovations on the vans are the all-new exterior styling to freshen the vehicle up, a brand new interior design offering a number of practical innovations, and a new 1.6-litre diesel engine under the bonnet which is more fuel efficient and cleaner than the outgoing power line-up.
According to the engineers responsible for developing the new van range, over 75% of the van has been changed, although a number of key areas have been left unaltered. For instance, the height and width dimensions of the load area in the new Vivaro and Trafic remain unchanged, ensuring van operators will be able to transfer racking from one vehicle to the other without any costly redesign.
In the driver area, the new vans are equipped with a brand new dash and binnacle layout and a host of practical features designed to suit end user needs: there's dash mounted cradles for both smartphones and tablets, with all the requisite plug in points; a multi-function bench seat offering a surface to attach a laptop or clipboard and deep underseat storage; while a nifty convex mirror built into the passenger sun visor will assist with blind spot visibility.
The load area has been extended 11cm to ensure 8'x4' plasterboard sections can now be accommodated, while bulkhead flaps allow planks and pipes up to 3.75m long to be carried in the short wheelbase version with the doors closed.
There's 18 load anchor points offering multiple lashing points and Vauxhall and Renault have included an internal ladder rack as a fitment options.
A new Renault 1.6-litre, four cylinder diesel engine powers the new range, available in four power ratings of 89hp, 113hp, 119hp and 138hp which, in its two top power ratings is equipped with a twin turbo set-up designed to give maximum torque output and performance across a wide operating band. This, along with new high pressure injection technology combine to offer a very low 149g/km CO2 rating for the 138hp variant of the van - down from 180g/km from the previous best Vivaro Ecoflex model.
The van will be unveiled officially at the Birmingham CV Show later this month, pricing will be announced in June and the first UK vehicles are expected to be delivered in early September.
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